14 May 2017
WordPress to Jekyll
Finally got around to putting this site together - powered by Jekyll and hosted on GitHub. The setup was smooth thanks to great documentation by Jonathan McGlone.
I always used WordPress for projects and portfolios. It was my go-to CMS. Overtime, and through experience, I eventually realized it was something I didn't need for every project.
My WordPress site didn't have a lot of content but still felt bulky going from page-to-page. WordPress uses PHP and MySQL, producing high processing overhead since it has to make server calls and connect to a database.
More than I needed:
My goal for a website was to share code, showcase projects, and advertise myself as a freelancer. I didn't need a wealth of plugins, ecommerce functionality or a heavy set database. I also avoided features such as the visual text editor since it would sometimes add unwanted elements to the HTML.
As one of the most popular blogging platforms, WordPress is a target for hackers. While its core is well built, poorly built plugins and themes pose a high risk for attacks. WordPress also uses a database which raises extra security concern. With a static site generator, fewer resources are used, minimizing the risk of entry.
Why I Went With Jekyll Static Site Generator
I work with HTML and CSS all the time and as a developer, I just wanted something minimal that provided me with full control and a secure foundation for delivering content.
This is when I came across Jekyll, a static site generator, well known and documented. It serves HTML pages built from templates directly to the client, immensely improving load time. The folder structure looks like:
project |________ _includes | header.html | footer.html |________ _layouts | default.html | page.html | post.html |________ _posts |________ _sass _config.yml index.html
Each file is well organized to build out the site, allowing complete control over the output. The setup was quick and it was easy to learn. I created a repo on GitHub and added the initial Jekyll templates to get started.
So far, the switch has been great. Jekyll has given me the minimal functionality and speed that I was looking for. As I read more about web performance and security, static site generators are gaining more popularity with businesses and personal sites.